Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Pro bikes, August 4, 2005

Chris Eatough's Trek Top Fuel 110

Photos ©: Steve Medcroft

Endurance special

By Steve Medcroft

Rock Shox MC
Click for larger image
Bontrager Revolt Super X tyres
Click for larger image
Three wraps of cork bar tape
Click for larger image
Shimano M959 SPD pedals
Click for larger image
This well-worn seat
Click for larger image
2 x 9, the hard way
Click for larger image
Rock Shox Reba
Click for larger image

After a 6:59:48 finish in the Wilderness 101, a 101-mile endurance race in Central Pennsylvania mountain country, Chris Eatough sat on a foldaway camping chair entering an inventory of all the food and drink he consumed for his training log. After watching him glide over a rocky downhill out on the course and power the final flat three miles of the race, it's easy to understand why Eatough is so successful at endurance racing; he can flat out hammer full-on for more hours than a normal person spends sitting in a cubicle at work.

Propped against a post five feet away from him at the Wilderness 101 finish was the machine that carried him up and down the mountains around State College, PA, (home of Penn State University) that day. The Trek Top Fuel, made with Trek's 110 OCLV carbon fiber frame material, is basically the production model, Eatough says. "This is the stock full-suspension frame with the carbon front and rear triangle and carbon rocker arm."

Eatough runs an Rock Shox MC rear shock. "I get about three inches of travel," he says. "There are actually three setting that I use while I'm riding. In the fully-open setting I get a plush rear shock for the rockier sections. The fully closed setting is basically a lockout for the road sections or for sprinting. And then there's kind of an in between setting, the motion control damping setting. The shock is still active on a bumpy trail but there's very little pedal-induced bob."

A Rock Shox 100mm Reba fork with a bar-mounted lockout lever keeps the front-end steady. The rest of the cockpit is made up of Shimano's XTR levers on a Bontrager Carbon Race X Lite flat bar. "I don't use regular grips though; I use three layers of grip tape," says Eatough. "I get a really good grip but it's nice and comfortable and squishy." Better for those longer races, he says. Same with the seat. Eatough looks for something, "with a little more give than the lighter-weight seats I'd run for a shorter cross-country race," so he rides a well-worn and plush Bontrager Race X Lite with ti rails.

In the drivetrain, Eatough sticks with the stock 11-34 XTR cogset. "But I don't run a granny gear on my crankset," he says. "I leave it off to save a little bit of weight and keep the shifting nice and clean up front but you really don't need the granny ring unless you're faced with long, steep climbs." Says you.

Eatough has run tubeless tires for five or six years. "I'm a big believer in the technology; you don't get many flats and you can run lower tire pressures." Eatough runs 35 pounds for most races but will go as low as 28 depending on the conditions.

As for the tires themselves, he says he changes them just about every race and the Bontrager Revolt Super Xs seen on his bike for the Wilderness 101 are his standard setup. "This is a good all-round tire," he says. "It's fast rolling and has some knob. Bontrager makes a really good mud tire though," he says about the Mud X rubber that he uses, "if conditions are really muddy. We have a slightly more knobby tire for technical conditions, the ACX, too."

Eatough runs full suspension in every race. "I never run a hard tail. I have two of these (Top Fuels). One bike stays with the factory trailer and one is my home bike." The team bike is painted red."

Eatough says he'll run the exact same bike setup for 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Championships as he did for the Wilderness 101. Except, he admits, he'll put on the granny gear for the 24 hour race.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Steve Medcroft


Full specification

Frame: Trek Top Fuel OCLV 110 Carbon
Fork: Rock Shox Reba Race with remote lockout (100mm)
Rear shock: Rock Shox MC rebound adjustment and lockout

Cranks: Shimano XTR 44/32
Chain: Shimano 9-Speed
Front derailleur: Shimano XTR
Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR
Brakes: XTR hydraulic Disc Brake
Levers: Shimano XTR, dual control
Rear sprockets: Shimano XTR 11-34, 9 speed


Wheels: Race X Lite TL Disc
Tires: Bontrager Super X Lite 2.1

Bar: Bontrager Race X Lite, 31.8, 600
Grips: Three wraps of Bontrager cork road tape.
Stem: Race XXX Lite OS Carbon
Headset: Cane Creek S-6 Aheadset

Pedals: Shimano SPD - PD-M540

Seat post: Bontrager Race X Lite, carbon
Saddle: Bontrager Race X Lite, titanium rails